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What is employment or investment of bank funds?

The employment or investment or advancing of funds by a commercial bank means the safe utilization and profitable use of its funds. The bank, as we know, obtains money from different sources and pays interest on them. It is the utmost desire of every commercial bank that it should invest its funds in a manner which serves its own as well as customers interest. Its own interest is to earn profit for the shareholders. The other interest is of the customers. The bank should keep sufficient cash at its disposal to pay back money to the customers along with interest as and when demanded by them. These two objectives of liquidity and profitability are obtained by utilizing the surplus funds into ready convertible securities. The main types of earning assets of a bank are as follows (1) money at call and short notice (ii) investment in government and semi government securities (iii) short and medium term loans (iv) discounting of bills. Factors of Good Advancing. The primary purpose of the bank is to grant loans to households, firms and companies. A major portion of its funds is used for giving loans. Loans are the major source of income of the bank. However, the lending of money is not without risk. A bank takes a number of precautions while sanctioning loans. The main considerations or factors which are taken into account while lending money by the bank are as follows:-(1) Liquidity. Liquidity is the first and the most important principle of banks investment policy. By liquidity is meant the relative ease and speed with which an asset can be converted into cash without incurring large costs. If is the policy of every commercial bank that it should invest its surplus funds in those assets which can be easily converted into cash and also yield profit. The reason behind it is that if the banks investments are not in liquid form, it may fail to meet its obligations towards its depositors. This may land the bank into difficultly. Every bank

therefore, tries to invest its funds into ready convertible securities and not in immovable properties. (2) Safety. The principle of safety is of utmost importance for investment of funds by a bank. The bank, in its lending activity, takes into account the borrowers ability to pay the loan. It also sees that in case of nonpayment of loan, the security offered can be disposed off without loss and delay. (3) Profitability. Banking is a business. Like any other business, it also aims at earning profit. Profit can only be earned if a major portion of the deposits are invested in securities yielding high returns. While making advances, the bank cannot ignore this aspect that the funds invested remain fairly safe, liquid and give also a reasonable return. In order to achieve this objective, the bank keeps in its investment portfolio three types of investments, liquid, semi liquid and income earning investment. (4) Purpose of loan. While advancing money, the banker must examine and investigate the purpose of the loan. If the loan is for productive purposes, it will not only ensure the safety of money but also provide a definite source of repayment. Truly speaking, short term productive loans are ideal loans. The advances for hoarding, or for speculative activities, for marriages, pleasure tours etc., etc. are not safe and liquid. As such these should be discouraged. (5) Security. The banker advances loans by considering the credit worthiness, honesty, good-will, business integrity of the borrower. Apart from these attributes in credit selection, the banker as for as possible secures loan by getting tangible security from the borrower. The security is considered as an insurance against risk of nonpayment of loan. The banker is to see that the security offered against loan is adequate, highly liquid, easy to handle and free from any default. (6) Spread of risk. An element of risk is present in every advance, however, secure it may be. It is therefore advised that the loans should be spread over (i) large number of borrowers (ii) over a large number of industries (iii) over a large

number of areas (villages towns, cities etc.) Diversification of advances thus minimizes the risk of defaults of loans. (7) Management of cash reserve. A bank has to keep a certain minimum percentage of its deposits in ready cash to meet it liability towards depositors. There is, however no limit on the maximum reserve to be kept by it. The bank, therefore, through its experience must keep an effective amount to meet the liability of the depositors. (8) National interest. The loans should be advanced keeping in view the national interest of the country If central bank directs that advances be given to small scale industries and agriculture and for export, the instructions should be followed in the national interest. Summing up, an ideal advance is one which is granted to a reliable customer for an approved purpose, against marketable securities, is liquid and profitable. Sentiments and personal relations have no place in lending as a function.